1999 Napa Valley Merlot
This striking portrait was created during Marilyn's first sitting with Milton Greene at the 20th Century Fox portrait studio in Hollywood in 1953. Too risqué to be published at the time, it's an elegant match for the 15th vintage of Marilyn Merlot.
John McKay's winemaker notes seem to reflect the playful eroticism of Marilyn's image: "The 1999 Marilyn Merlot is a blend of 94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc. The addition of the Franc gives an aromatic complexity and structure to our typically soft and luscious Merlot fruit. Ripe plum and toasted vanilla bean aromas are reflected on the palate by the plump fruit flavors of black cherry and dark chocolate. The grapes are from four vineyards located in the heart of the Napa Valley near Rutherford and Yountville.
Note: There is some minor spotting on the label.
2003 Napa Valley Merlot
Each new vintage of Marilyn Monroe Merlot sells out quickly. While collectors have made Marilyn Monroe Merlot one of the fastest-appreciating wines on the market, it is wine enthusiasts with a sense of humor who have long enjoyed the playful spirit behind Marilyn Merlot wines that are now also seeking the Marilyn Monroe Merlot because of the emphasis on making a notable wine from prized Napa Valley grapes. While the concept and engaging label of these wines has given these bottles a degree of fame, it is the wine in the bottle that merits the enthusiasm of those who seek it out every year.
The 2003 vintage Marilyn Merlot is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. A substantial addition of Cabernet adds greater complexity to the nose and more
structure to the mouth. This wine was barrel aged using 30% new wood to enhance the aromas of vanilla and roasted coffee. The fruity aromas and flavors are ripe and soft reflecting the maturity and quality of the grapes we harvested. All the vineyards for this wine are located in the heart of the Napa Valley ranging from the Oak Knoll District to the Rutherford District.
-John McKay, Winemaker